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Old 02-02-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
ayoshak
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HELP Portable Calibre will not read standard Calible database

I installed standard Calibre on my PC (XP updated) and formed the library on a large external USB harddisk. I processed a large amount of books making my own custom metadata (Titles, Authors, Tags and Series) designed to be useable on my new KOBO. All is well when I use that version of Calibre.

I than decided it would be more useful if I use portable Calibre instead the one installed on my tower PC. So I installed a portable version onto the same external USB harddisk. It works on its own but it will not read from the library made by the previous standard Calibre. It declares it corrupt and it is unable to fix it. The same library is fully useable using the standard Calibre.

If I try to transfer individual books between "standard" library and a new "portable" one (using Add book function) none of the metadata are being transferred correctly.

Obviously the Calibre developers decided to use two mutually incompatible database formats for those two versions of Calibre.

Is there an easy way of transferring the standard version into portable version?

Thanks
Ayosha
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Not sure why you should be having such an issue. I regularly switch between the standard and portable calibre installs against the same database.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoshak View Post
Obviously the Calibre developers decided to use two mutually incompatible database formats for those two versions of Calibre.
Calibre and calibre portable use the exact same database format there are zero differences between the two. Did you download it from calibre's download page?
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoshak View Post
I installed standard Calibre on my PC (XP updated) and formed the library on a large external USB harddisk. I processed a large amount of books making my own custom metadata (Titles, Authors, Tags and Series) designed to be useable on my new KOBO. All is well when I use that version of Calibre.

I than decided it would be more useful if I use portable Calibre instead the one installed on my tower PC. So I installed a portable version onto the same external USB harddisk. It works on its own but it will not read from the library made by the previous standard Calibre. It declares it corrupt and it is unable to fix it. The same library is fully useable using the standard Calibre.

If I try to transfer individual books between "standard" library and a new "portable" one (using Add book function) none of the metadata are being transferred correctly.

Obviously the Calibre developers decided to use two mutually incompatible database formats for those two versions of Calibre.

Is there an easy way of transferring the standard version into portable version?

Thanks
Ayosha
Are you using 'Copy to Library'?

There are steps that must be done when there are custom columns in the original.

1a) the Target must have the same structure.
You can easily create a NEW (empty) Library with the same structure by ticking the box 'Copy structure from current Library' in the Create/Switch form

1b) Use the OS to Copy the entire Library folder to the new location (same as you would for a full library backup)

2) review and adjust the Preferences:Tweaks:Control how Tags are applied when copying
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for all replies.
I am glad it works for you, itimpi, it does not for me.
The columns of the original standard database and one created by portable are identical, and the structure not changed in the standard Calibre and in the portable one. I did create a backup of the original one, using standard XP copy/paste procedure, standard can read both, so they are not corrupted.

The portable Calibre shows an error message that the library is corupted when I try to open it, details:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "site-packages\calibre\gui2\ui.py", line 608, in library_moved
File "site-packages\calibre\db\legacy.py", line 70, in __init__
File "site-packages\calibre\db\legacy.py", line 44, in create_backend
File "site-packages\calibre\db\backend.py", line 351, in __init__
File "site-packages\calibre\db\schema_upgrades.py", line 18, in __init__
File "site-packages\calibre\db\backend.py", line 287, in execute
File "c:\cygwin\home\kovid\sw\build\apsw-3.7.17-r1\src\cursor.c", line 231, in resetcursor
ReadOnlyError: ReadOnlyError: attempt to write a readonly database

I randomly checked several files, none are read only prohibited.


I did try to change the Tabs attrubute to Yes, but that did not change anything, adding the book manually from the original files (from standard library using folders option), did not transfer my Author, Tags, Series data, only the Title went through unspoiled.

All that implies, in my book, those two versions use different library database structure and data formats.

So the question still stands, how do I convert from one to the other without manually rewriting all the details for every book.

Thanks
Ayosha
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:40 PM   #6
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The structure and data formats are identical there is zero difference between these versions.

It is read only. Remove this attribute and you will be fine.

This often happens when you copy a library from a CD or DVD backup.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 02-02-2014 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:15 PM   #7
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@ayoshak - I'm a bit confused - when I read your first post I got the impression that the library already exists on the external USB drive and that you can use it from an installed version of calibre presumably on your system drive. And that what you want to do is - install the portable version of calibre onto your USB drive and use it to access the library you've built in that same drive.

That error message appears to be saying trying to write to a read only database - check the properties on the metadata.db file and make sure its not read only, if it is uncheck that setting. But I doubt that's the problem...

But I wonder if its a permissions or ownership issue. The library (and database) might be owned by user A but the USB device might owned by user B. If the portable version is installed at the root of the USB drive then I think it it will inherit the ownership/permissions from the drive. And the portable version of calibre sort of expects its library to be in something like X:\Calibre Portable\Calibre Library

Try installing calibre portable to the same area as you have the desktop version eg C:\Program Files\Calibre Portable. Then see if you can use the library from it, if it can then that will eliminate calibre portable itself as the cause of your problem.

BR
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:26 AM   #8
ayoshak
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Hi BetterRed, to unconfuse things:
All my eBooks are stored on external USB hard disk. Recently I downloaded Calibre to be able to transfer books onto my new KOBO (RIP BeBook). That forced me into starting the creation of Calibre library, on the same disk. Only after I processed a number of books I realised that it would be better to have a portable version, which I can than access from different computers, without the need of installing the Calibre first every time.

My first attempt failed miserably as can be seen from the above. The standard Calibre was installed on XP desktop, the portable Calibre was installed onto the same external disk but from my laptop running Win7. The ownership is the same for those two PCs. But I want actually to be able to use it from any PC regardless of the ownership, otherwise, what is a point of having a portable Calibre.

My second attempt is better, I went back to the desktop and powered up standard version first to confirm all is OK with library. I than powered up the portable Calibre and it opened the same library, no problems, working within XP.

I am still to go back to laptop and see if it will work from Win7 there as well. I will try to copy the library into the Calibre Portable folder structure as well, to see if that might make a difference.

I will let you guys know whether there was a success or more problems.

Hi Doctor Ohh, None of the files within the library are read only, including metadata.db. No copying was done from CD or DVD backups, all data is being kept within the same external hard disk.

Obviously the error reporting part of Calibre needs more work to be useful. The same library opened OK from the same portable working under desktop XP, proving none of the files are read only.

True portable software should be able to operate from any computer if the system is compatible, and XP and Win 7 should be in this case.

Ayosha

Last edited by ayoshak; 02-03-2014 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:06 AM   #9
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wrong post

Last edited by BetterRed; 02-03-2014 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:57 AM   #10
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Another failure

I connected the external hard disk to my laptop (Win7) and tried to open the Calibre library created by standard Calibre installed on my XP desktop. I have a copy of the same library on the root of the disk, as a second folder under \Backups and as a third folder under \calibre\calibre portable. None are read only.
The Calibre portable returned error as described above, and when instructed to do the repair return with more errors:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "site-packages\calibre\db\restore.py", line 125, in run
File "site-packages\calibre\db\restore.py", line 272, in replace_db
WindowsError: [Error 5] Access is denied

To repeat, the same portable Calibre can open those libraries with no errors when run from XP on my desktop.

I will try next to install standard Calibre onto this laptop and see if that can access those libraries.

Ayosha
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:42 AM   #11
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Problem Solved

I installed the standard Calibre onto my laptop (Win7), that version refused to open the library on my external hard disk as well.

I tried than to manually interfere with the items in the library, renaming a file (a file without read only limitation). In spite of being the only user of that laptop (and administrator by default) I got the warning that I must confirm the administrator privileges. All it takes is another mouse click, but that is enough to confuse Calibre. I will not rant here about idiocy of Win7 (and Win8) creators.

For you guys with the same or similar problems, go Control Panel, go User Accounts, click onto "Change User Account Control Settings" and drop that slider all the way to the bottom. You will need to restart the PC.


EDIT
There is a better way, see the end of the thread.
END OF EDIT

Ayosha

Last edited by ayoshak; 02-04-2014 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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Remember that if the device is formatted with NTFS then security and access is far more than just having the same account name and/or administrative access.

Somehow I think your issues are more related to security access and rights than anything else. Try using a fat32 formatted drive.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoshak View Post
I installed the standard Calibre onto my laptop (Win7), that version refused to open the library on my external hard disk as well.

I tried than to manually interfere with the items in the library, renaming a file (a file without read only limitation). In spite of being the only user of that laptop (and administrator by default) I got the warning that I must confirm the administrator privileges. All it takes is another mouse click, but that is enough to confuse Calibre. I will not rant here about idiocy of Win7 (and Win8) creators.

For you guys with the same or similar problems, go Control Panel, go User Accounts, click onto "Change User Account Control Settings" and drop that slider all the way to the bottom. You will need to restart the PC.

Ayosha
This is NOT a good and secure way of working this issue. UAC protects

You just need to follow the rules of UAC.

Take ownership (the user level) of the drive/folders/files if needed.

I have W7HP (X64) on my Laptop. My library is on the old (XP) Laptops drive that is now mounted in a USB caddy.

No problems (I don't remember what I did to get it running, but it was not much)
Both regular (W64) and Portable Calibre run fine. I just pointed the Portable Installer prompt to the Root (drive letter) of the drive
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:35 PM   #14
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The easiest way would most likely have been to attach the removable disc to the computer on which the library was created, and change the rights to make the library accessible to everyone. That way the library will be accessible even when you use the library from another computer with a separate login. Otherwise it shouldn't be accessible. It is a question of using the external drive and rights as intended.

This has nothing to do with win7 or win8. You can have the exact same problem in Linux if you don't use the rights in the filesystem correctly. And as was said earlier, FAT32 lacks all those rights. But it also lacks a lot of robustness.

Last edited by Adoby; 02-03-2014 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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Ψ <sigh>

@ayoshak - take heed of what PeterT, theducks and Adoby have posted - you might learn something.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 02-03-2014 at 04:43 PM.
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